Asia-Pacific

February 21, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Adm. Harry Harris, USN, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, delivers a keynote address at West 2017 in San Diego. Photo by Michael Carpenter

It is imperative that the United States—government and private companies alike—begin using its inherent innovative spirit to think exponentially and develop technologies that will save time, dollars and lives while defeating the nation's adversaries, said Adm. Harry Harris, USN, commander of U.S. Pacific Command. 

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
A panel of U.S. military communications officers discuss their technology wish lists at AFCEA Technet Asia-Pacific. Photo by Bob Goodwin

A panel of U.S. military communications officers stationed in the Asia-Pacific region told the defense technology industry what they most need to accomplish the mission. The list included capabilities ranging from next-generation authentication tools to airborne command and control network modeling.

Rear Adm. Kathleen Creighton, director of command, control, communications and cyber, U.S. Pacific Command, named advanced identity management. “The technology is there. It’s probably more of an acquisition [issue] on the government side, but I think that’s a critical one,” she said during a panel discussion on the final day of AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific in Honolulu.

November 1, 2016
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

While the world’s attention seems to be focused on the Middle East and the spillover effects of its conflicts, the Asia-Pacific region is enduring stresses that could have far-reaching consequences. The area, which comprises half the Earth’s surface and two-thirds of its people, is facing threats to peace and economic growth that must be addressed by the one country that largely is viewed as an honest broker for security: the United States.

November 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
The HMAS Ballarat, USS Mobile Bay, CNS Cochrane, INS Satpura, HMCS Calgary and USS Shoup prepare for a live-fire exercise during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016. Interoperability in the Pacific theater is a constant challenge for U.S. forces that are relying more and more on new information technologies.

Military communications systems around the world are being asked to do more with less, but U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific region face an even more complex challenge. Lacking a regionwide multinational alliance such as NATO, the U.S. Pacific Command is working to improve interoperability in bilateral arrangements with allies and partner nations amid an increased threat to the very networks forces rely on during crises. 

November 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers
U.S. forces in the Pacific need robotic systems capable of operating in tunnels and underground facilities. U.S. Army researchers in the region have coordinated an effort to modify existing systems to counter subterranean weapons of mass destruction.

A U.S. Army research and development organization in Tokyo is forming partnerships across the Asia-Pacific region—including in India, Malaysia and Vietnam—to help support warfighter needs and strengthen ties to neighboring nations.

One partnership involves multiple U.S. organizations that collaborated to modify and field a robotic system capable of working in tunnels or underground facilities to counter weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Researchers have fielded an interim solution, and a program of record is possible.

November 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
A U.S. soldier with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, explains training scenario options to a Filipino counterpart conducting a dismounted assault rehearsal as part of the Army’s Pacific Pathways training exercise this year.

A new type of force is being designed to respond to the unique conditions that define the vast Asia-Pacific region. The tyranny of distance has compelled the U.S. Army to structure a division capable of meeting operational demands that include greater maneuverability and flexibility amid a changing communications environment.

The intensifying perils that are triggering palpable tension in the East exemplify the need for more agile and rapidly deployable Army units, especially as the U.S. military makes a strategic pivot toward Asia, says Maj. Gen. Charles Flynn, USA, deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific.

June 24, 2016
Maryann Lawlor

The biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise begins June 30 and will include 26 nations, 45 ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel. The theme of RIMPAC 2016 is "Capable, Adaptive, Partners." Participants will exercise a range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. The capabilities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting.

February 18, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
Vice Adm. Ted N. Branch, USN, deputy CNO for Information Warfare, describes how the Navy is embracing that warfighting doctrine in his morning keynote address on Thursday at West 2016 in San Diego.

West 2016

The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily, Day 2

Quote of the Day:

“I want industry to look at the Pacific Fleet as a laboratory.”—Adm. Scott H. Swift, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet

The book on establishing and maintaining naval supremacy may need wholesale revision as planners confront the challenges facing the U.S. Navy. What worked in the past might be, at best, obsolete, and at worst, counterproductive as the Navy deals with two potential peer rivals and possible conflicts ranging from asymmetrical sparring to overt maritime control.

November 1, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer refuels and resupplies in the South China Sea. The U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) is expanding its roles and relationships in the Asia-Pacific region amid new and growing threats.

The U.S. Pacific Command is strengthening its international relationships among allies and friendly nations in the region as new threats begin to dominate the security agenda. Existing alliances are being improved and even expanded, and countries that have not worked with the United States in the past are finding common ground and increasing cooperative efforts across the vast Asia-Pacific region.

November 1, 2015
By George I. Seffers
 The Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Navy sailors aboard the USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) successfully conduct a flight test of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system. An assessment by the Pacific Command chief information officer suggests that cybersecurity should be decentralized for information systems used for warfighting.

Establishing a Mission Partner Environment, a warfighting network and operating environment that allows for greater data sharing and mission planning with partner nations, is a top priority for the chief information officer of the U.S. Pacific Command. As part of that effort, the office has categorized the different types of information systems—and who should control the cyber operations for each—and has created a prototypical virtual enclave that may be adopted for the Navy’s Next-Generation Enterprise Network.

November 1, 2015
By James C. Bussert
Satellite imagery of a land-based mock-up of China’s new 055 warship shows advanced radar on a bridge structure positioned for electromagnetic interference testing. The 055 is being designed to serve as a key escort for a People’s Liberation Army Navy aircraft carrier task force.

China is determined to project power globally by developing homegrown aircraft carriers. After purchasing a surplus Soviet-era aircraft carrier from Russia, China now is striving to establish an indigenous assembly line for carriers and the ships that would constitute a carrier task group.

November 1, 2015
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

Why should people be concerned about the Asia-Pacific region? Just because it comprises more than half the Earth’s population, has 36 nations that speak 3,000 languages, spans the globe from the Arctic to the Antarctic, is transited by a third of the world’s maritime trade and includes six nuclear powers should not necessarily be cause for alarm.

October 1, 2015
By George I. Seffers
A P-8A Poseidon test aircraft completes a flare launch during a countermeasures test over the Atlantic Test Range. The P-8A participates in the Defense Exportability Features program, which is intended to identify exportability issues early in a system’s development, saving time and money in the future.

Officials in the U.S. Department of Defense are in the final stages of developing a strategic plan for international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. The plan will explore new partnership opportunities with developing countries that have creative commercial sectors.

Keith Webster, director of international cooperation, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, is spearheading the strategy development. He says the plan is the “first ever” out of his office, represents “a whole new approach for us” and is “directly to support the rebalance in the Pacific.”

November 1, 2012
By George I. Seffers

A U.S. Air Force research 
directorate connects scientists
 and engineers from many countries.

Cutting-edge warfighter technologies, ranging from nanoscience products to micro air vehicles, are advancing through the combined efforts of multinational top researchers within the Asia-Pacific region. This technical collaboration is driven in part by a U.S. Air Force research and development office in Tokyo, which is building international relationships while optimizing the intellectual talent within one of the world’s most active arenas for scientific breakthroughs.

July 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The inertial navigation system (INS) market size is estimated to be $2.75 billion in 2014 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.98 percent to reach $4.63 billion by 2019, according to Research and Markets, a Dublin-based market analysis firm. Though North America and Europe have the largest market for INS in terms of commercial and defense aviation, military and naval applications, a lot of INS development programs have been launched in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

April 9, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

A China-based company has set up an OpenDaylight Lab in Shenzhen, China, joining an expanding global community effort aimed at creating open sources for companies to further software-defined networking (SDN). The industry is aiming to do this via more transparent approaches that reduce risk to unproven products. The Shenzhen lab from Huawei is the first of its kind in Asia, joining the approved OpenDaylight Community Labs list.

February 13, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The threat of armed conflict arising from China’s disputed assertions of territorial claims could be defused if all parties concerned agree to use international law institutions, said a U.S. Navy attorney. Capt Stuart Bell, USN, deputy assistant judge advocate general (international and operations law), told a Thursday panel audience at West 2014 in San Diego that the rule of law can be applied in most cases involving disputes between China and its neighbors to achieve a peaceful resolution.

December 6, 2012
By Max Cacas

To monitor the possible effects of radiation on Americans who were in Japan during the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the U.S. Army Public Health Command has launched the Operation Tomodachi Registry website. The site provides location-based radiation dose estimates for the approximately 70,000 department-affiliated adults and children who were in one of 13 mainland Japan locations at the time of the disaster, which included the release of radiation into the environment. It will serve as a public clearinghouse for information on the U.S. Defense Department's response to the crisis in which U.S.

October 1, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

Bridging the waters surrounding the most remote island chain on the planet-that is the mission of the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM). It uses training exercises with neighboring countries to improve interoperability and promote peace.

In this month's issue of SIGNAL Magazine, News Editor Rita Boland explores the command's effort to rehearse real-world emergencies and establish relationships with its allies in her article, "Practice Makes Perfect."

November 1, 2014
By Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger, USA (Ret.)

"Never get involved in a land war in Asia.” So went the taunt in the 1987 film The Princess Bride, a comic adventure brimming with clever one-liners. Plunging into ground combat in Asia was considered “one of the classic blunders,” as a character describes it, so obvious that even children get the joke. Thus thought the gifted screenwriter William Goldman, who once had typed reports in the Pentagon as a U.S. Army corporal and went on to pen scripts for classic movies such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and A Bridge Too Far. Yet what may have seemed obvious to Goldman and throngs of moviegoers apparently did not register above the corporal level in the U.S. high command.

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